PHILIPPINE Basketball Association (PBA) commissioner Chito Salud has asked the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) to write a formal letter about the sudden change in the schedule of the 2013 FIBA-Asia Championship For Men before looking for new ways to help Smart Gilas form the best team possible for the tournament.
Salud sat down with SBP president Manny V. Pangilinan, vice-chairman Ricky Vargas, and Smart Gilas-Pilipinas 2.0 coach Chot Reyes on Wednesday to discuss the new Fiba circular that scheduled the Fiba-Asia tournament from August 1-11.
The change meant the tournament, which serves as the regional qualifier for the Fiba-World Championship, begins just three days after the scheduled Game Seven of the PBA’s season-ending Governors Cup.
“Mr. Pangilinan and SBP just basically informed Commissioner Salud about the new Fiba circular. In return, the PBA is asking the SBP to submit a formal letter about the change in schedule of the Fiba-Asia tournament, and then we’ll take it from there,” said PBA media bureau chief Willie Marcial, who accompanied Salud to the informal meeting.
The letter should be in as soon as possible, according to Marcial.
Reyes said the meeting was a must since "kailangan ng changes sa (PBA) calendar or whatever needs to be done” to enable Gilas to form a team of the best professional players for the tournament.
“We just discussed options kung ano puwedeng gawin. Right now July 28 matatapos ang third conference so that’s gonna be a problem kung August 1 ang opening (ng Fiba-Asia Championship For Men),” Reyes said.
The national coach expects the PBA board to convene once the SBP officially submits a letter about the Fiba circular.
“Once we handed down the letter, then I guess pag-uusapan na nila agad ito.”
As to how the board will react, Reyes doesn’t have any idea, especially in light of an earlier stance it had taken about a 'no-disruption' policy on the calendar of the league with regards to the loaning of players to the national pool.
“I’m just waiting at this point. I really don’t know kung ano ang mangyayari,” Reyes added.
The scheduling conflict raises the possibility of Reyes not having in the 2013 team most of the Smart Gilas mainstays that won the Jones Cup in Taipei and finished fourth in the Fiba-Asia Cup in Tokyo this year.
Under Fiba rules, Reyes said the Philippines will most likely be asked to submit a 15-man lineup at least a month before the world basketball qualifier, leaving him with no choice but to pick a pool of players whose teams won't likely reach the semifinals of the Governors Cup.